Housekeeping is a term that many people might associate with a residential environment, but it has definite application and relevance in a place of work. By focusing on cleanliness in a space where people perform their work, you can make a positive contribution towards keeping everyone safe as well.

The process of keeping your work environment clean can help identify any potential risks and show what needs to be changed. It ultimately helps you protect your most important asset, namely your employees,” says Malcolm Stephens, Divisional Executive Fidelity Cleaning Services. A recent report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimated that more than 6,000 workers die across the planet every day because of occupational accidents or work-related diseases.

“The lesson is that we can bring this number down if we make the workplace as clean and neat as possible. It lessens the chance of any accidental trips and falls or any health-related problems,” says Stephens.

Occupational health and safety regulations set down very clear conditions that should be met depending on the industry sector, and he recommends studying these to ensure compliance. “There are trained and experienced cleaning services providers who can provide expert guidance on what cleaning measures to implement for your specific industry. Ignorance of these regulations and the available options cannot be used as an excuse.”

Some options to consider according to Stephens, include:

Vacuum rather than sweep.  You can potentially kick up more dust and hazardous airborne particles by cleaning your workplace with brooms. Industrial vacuums and pressure washers can ensure that any unwanted particles are disposed of safely.

Slips and falls.  A huge number of industrial accidents involve people tripping or falling because the floor surface was slippery due to oil or any other liquid. Clean up any spills immediately or invest in flooring that is more suitable to the type of spillage that is anticipated. Anti-slip flooring along with warning signage are two options to consider.

“Our Constitution also promises that everyone has the right to an environment that does not pose health risks. This puts a very real and important duty of care at the door of company owners,” says Stephens. “The backbone of any company is its workers and employees. By investing in them and their safety, you are investing in your company’s future, and you are making your organisation more attractive to customers and any new potential employees.”

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